By support

12th Jan, 2017 | 5:54pm

Paul Merson predicts Liverpool clash against Man United, states this player could struggle

By Amir Mir

Paul Merson has backed Manchester United to beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

Sky Sports pundit Merson believes left-back James Milner could struggle when he comes up against either Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial.

The Premier League duo drew the reverse fixture 0-0 at Anfield as Jose Mourinho’s side opted for a more cautious approach.

However, now they enter this highly-anticipated match having won nine matches in a row in all competitions.

That includes beating Hull in the first leg of the semi-final of the EFL Cup on Tuesday, while the Reds were beaten 1-0 at Southampton the day after.

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Ahead of the match, former Arsenal and Aston Villa playmaker, Merson analysed where the game could be won or lost.

“Playing last means the rest of the top six might have won so it’s a game neither side can afford to lose,” Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column.

“I am going with Man Utd. I watched Liverpool in the EFL Cup and they were poor at the back, and if Zlatan Ibrahimovic is fit then I don’t see how they can cope with United.

“Defensively they were all over the place at Southampton and James Milner could have a long day against Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial.

“United have won six on the spin in the league but they started this run sixth in the league and they are still sixth. I think they are big players if they win this match, but if they lose then you are looking at whether they will get in the top four. That’s how tight it is at the top at the moment.”

United captain Wayne Rooney could become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer if he finds the back of the net.

The boyhood Everton fan is on 249 goals for the club after he became United’s joint all-time top scorer during their 4-0 win against Reading in the FA Cup.

That goal saw the England international match the 44-year-old record of footballing legend and World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton.

Furthermore, a win for Mourinho’s side could see them close the game on the Merseyside club to two points in the Premier League table.

In other Liverpool news, forget Philippe Coutinho, this is the player the Reds need back from injury.

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